Automatic symbolic computation for discontinuous Galerkin finite element methods

Houston, Paul and Sime, Nathan (2018) Automatic symbolic computation for discontinuous Galerkin finite element methods. SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing . ISSN 1064-8275 (In Press)

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The implementation of discontinuous Galerkin finite element methods (DGFEMs) represents a very challenging computational task, particularly for systems of coupled nonlinear PDEs, including multiphysics problems, whose parameters may consist of power series or functionals of the solution variables. Thereby, the exploitation of symbolic algebra to express a given DGFEM approximation of a PDE problem within a high level language, whose syntax closely resembles the mathematical definition, is an invaluable tool. Indeed, this then facilitates the automatic assembly of the resulting system of (nonlinear) equations, as well as the computation of Frechet derivative(s) of the DGFEM scheme, needed, for example, within a Newton-type solver. However, even exploiting symbolic algebra, the discretisation of coupled systems of PDEs can still be extremely verbose and hard to debug. Thereby, in this article we develop a further layer of abstraction by designing a class structure for the automatic computation of DGFEM formulations. This work has been implemented within the FEniCS package, based on exploiting the Unified Form Language. Numerical examples are presented which highlight the simplicity of implementation of DGFEMs for the numerical approximation of a range of PDE problems.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Symbolic computation, finite element methods, discontinuous Galerkin methods
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical Sciences
Depositing User: Houston, Paul
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2018 10:30
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2018 08:15

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